There are so many fantastic Dordogne markets to choose from. Indeed, most towns and villages in the Dordogne have a market of some description at least once a week. A good number of these markets have been held at the same place and on the same day of the week for hundreds of years.
In the larger towns you will often find that the market takes place both indoors and out. There may be a covered, permanent structure (marché couvert) and also various stalls outside. At many of the Dordogne’s larger markets you can buy incredible food, crafts and antiques.
Evening markets in the Dordogne
While markets in the Dordogne tend to take place in the morning, don’t despair if you enjoy a good lie-in. During the summer months there are plenty of evening markets going on and these can make for a great (and reasonably priced) night out. Forget making a reservation. At an evening market in the Dordogne you just turn up and sit at one of the tables (just follow the fantastic smells and sounds or simply head towards the town’s market square…). The traders should be able to supply everything you need; wine, a 3 course meal and cutlery. There is nearly always some form of entertainment to enjoy as well. This could be a local band or a DJ. These events are popular with locals and tourists alike.
It is worth remembering that some of the markets can get very busy during July and August. However, the organic night market in the beautiful medieval town of Sarlat runs from the middle of June to mid September. It takes place on a Thursday from 6pm – 10pm. There are plenty of others to choose from. During the summer, our local evening market at Castelnaud-la-Chapelle usually takes place on a Monday. It seems as though you could spend each summer night of the week at a different market!
One of the main reason to visit one of the Dordogne’s markets is to buy the incredible local food. Here again, timing can be crucial. Produce on the stalls obviously various depending on the season. Love the taste of truffles, foie gras or walnuts? Then you need to visit one of the département’s markets in December, January or February. (Sarlat even has a festival dedicated to the truffle.) May is usually good for strawberries while poultry is typically at its finest from November to March.
Our favourite Dordogne markets
For guests staying at Les Milandes, the following local markets are well worth a visit. You could combine a shopping expedition with some sightseeing;
Les Eyzies on a Monday
This small town attracts people wishing to visit the Vézère valley and is also home to the Musée National
Le Bugue on a Tuesday (and Saturday)
An attractive town just a few kilometres downstream from Les Eyzies. There are good views of the River Doux.
Sarlat on a Wednesday (and Saturday)
One of the most intact medieval cities in Europe located in possibly the most beautiful area of the Dordogne.
Domme on a Thursday
This beautiful bastide provides jaw-dropping views.
Le Buisson on a Friday
Around a kilometre away are the Grottes de Maxange. These caves (which were only fairly recently discovered) are home to incredible stalactites called excentriques.
St Cyprien on a Sunday
Around 10 kilometres from Les Eyzies, (and 20kms from Sarlat) St Cyprien is home to one of the area’s best markets. You will find medieval houses in the lanes of the old centre.
Wherever you stay in the Dordogne you are bound to have a market fairly nearby. Make a visit and you will probably be keeping alive a tradition stretching back to the Middle Ages.